The Feeling of New Running Shoes:
Saturday, April 12, 2014
One of my favorite passages from Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine" describes a young boy's experience getting new shoes after a long winter. Enjoy...
“Stop!” cried the old man.
Douglas pulled up and turned.
Mr. Sanderson leaned forward.
“How do they feel?” The boy looked down at his feet deep in the rivers, in the fields of wheat, in the wind that already was rushing him out of the town. He looked up at the old man, his eyes burning, his mouth moving, but no sound came out.
“Antelopes?” said the old man, looking from the boy’s face to his shoes. “Gazelles?”
The boy thought about it, hesitated, and nodded a quick nod. Almost immediately he vanished. He just spun about with a whisper and went off. The door stood empty. The sound of the tennis shoes faded in the jungle heat.
Mr. Sanderson stood in the sun-blazed door, listening. From a long time ago, when he dreamed as a boy, he remembered the sound. Beautiful creatures leaping under the sky, gone through brush, under trees, away, and only the soft echo of their running left behind.
“Antelopes,” said Mr. Sanderson. “Gazelles.”
He bent to pick up the boy’s abandoned winter shoes, heavy with forgotten rains and long-melted snows. Moving out of the blazing sun, walking softly, lightly, slowly, he headed back toward civilization . . .